What Are the Key Differences Between Concrete and Pavement?

The age old question for construction professionals is: “What are the key differences between concrete and pavement?” Here are 8 key facts that will help you decide what is best for your job.

1. Formation

Concrete is formed by mixing cement, sand, and gravel together with water in order to create a strong material that is then poured into a form and cured to create the desired shape. Pavement on the other hand, is created by laying down several layers of asphalt and other special materials, like stone or fine gravel.

2. Structure

Concrete is usually laid in layers that can vary in thickness and strength. Pavement is made up of several layers, with each layer having specific properties that give it a certain durability and flexibility.

3. Cost

Pavement is generally less expensive than concrete, because it requires fewer resources and can be installed faster. For long-term use, however, concrete is often more cost effective and environmentally friendly.

4. Composition

Concrete is made up of mainly cement, sand and gravel while pavement is composed primarily of asphalt. The composition of each material will affect its strength and durability, and the costs to maintain each type of surface.

5. Durability

In terms of durability, concrete is more resistant to wear and tear, while asphalt is more susceptible to cracking over time. The type of material used for the pavement will determine how long it lasts, with asphalt being much more susceptible to wear than concrete.

6. Maintenance

Concrete requires less maintenance than pavement, as it is able to withstand extreme weather conditions better and does not require regular sealing or resurfacing like pavement does. There is also less need for repairs over time. Pavement, on the other hand, requires frequent maintenance and resurfacing in order to keep it looking its best and performing optimally.

7. Installation Process

The installation process for concrete is more involved and labor intensive compared to pavement. It requires more time and resources to install properly. For pavement, the installation process is generally easier than concrete and can be done more quickly.

8. Surface Finish

The surface finish of concrete tends to be smoother than that of pavement, while asphalt typically has a more textured surface. This makes concrete more aesthetically pleasing but also means traffic may not disperse as easily across its surface. Therefore, it is important to consider the area’s expected vehicle traffic when deciding between concrete and pavement.

Overall, both materials have their advantages and drawbacks, although concrete is often preferred for its durability and attractive surface finish. It is important to evaluate the cost and intended use of a project before choosing between them. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the specific needs of the project.